Grateful Dead Live at Compton Terrace Amphitheatre on 1983-03-25
FOB>3 Senn. 421's>MC>DAT>CD; via Tom Eliason; Seeded to etree by Willy
Subject: Lowdown on the show
Anyhoo, it was an experience, and I guess that's primarily what I was looking for - waiting in line I remember several guys and gals walking up and down the line calling out "acid, mushrooms" - we thought it was funny at the time, but having read other accounts about undercover narcs I can see where that was possible - when we got up to the ticket turnstile, the cops or security guys had a guy who basically had an entire recording studio shoved up the pant legs of his jeans - mic stand, mics, the whole bit
Brief note on the weather - we hung out at the top of the bowl (probably it was too crowded at the bottom, but the top was flatter and we could play frisbee and hackey sack easier so that's where we were) - as I looked out towards Tucson (south) there was a WALL of DUST out in the desert - one of those epic sand storms you see on the net - I don't think it ever got to the arena (can't remember it doing so) but it was windy and it was the first one I had ever seen - and I lived in Arizona for about 20 years - seen dust devils and such in Tucson, but never a WALL of dust like that day) - so WINDY day for sure, but NO RAIN
Anyway, playing frisbee with friends, look over and a guy completely nude walking down the grass aisle - thin, bearded, probably (likely) tripping pretty well - still sunny at this time, nice day for an outdoor concert
The show - there was a LOT of grass and hash going around for sure - remember, I had grown up more of a classic rock concert guy (Ted Nugent, Rush, Styx) so the music put me literally to sleep! No joke, after about an hour and a half, I was out! Later, my friend told me the reason they were called Grateful Dead was because that's how you felt after they were done (lol) - no kidding, those guys went on and on and on.
I saw another show at Compton - can't remember if it was before or after - Pat Benetar right after her big Grammy wins - think Golden Earring was open for her - went with girlfriend - she was crazy for Benetar, even had me put her on my shoulders during the show!
Subject: My birthday!!!
Subject: Shite! Not another one!
An excellent recording made unlistenable by the playing.
Dang it all to heck :(
Subject: Two stars for LIG. Zero stars for the rest.
I listened to the Aud and I have to say it is one remarkable recording for 1983. Several times you can hear the wind kick up and Bobby makes a comment on the weather right before the encore, so I am guessing some weird shit was going on weather wise all day. Perhaps the weather had an affect on the show as well.
We start this one off with CRS and this one falls completely apart at approximately the two minute mark. It really did not work at all yet as they always do, they definitely managed to pull it back together for a big wind up finish that wasn’t nearly as bad as the rest of the tune. Minglewood is next and starts off all over the place. I could hardly tell what the hell was going on for the first minute, and then Bobby comes on and is really freakin fired up. He is straining heavily and then starts with this really nutty slide play – just reckless sloppiness going on up there this evening so far. There was a moment there at the end that I distinctly heard Phil play the riff from “Going Down” like two or three times around. A double time Dire kicks off next with Jerry proclaiming “From the Backwash of Frenario” to start off the tune. I laughed, but this one was not so good either. Definitely one of the weirder Dire’s out there. Really fast and nasally and just hurried in general. Not exactly the comforting storytelling session that this wonderful tune can be at its best. Brother Esau is next, and once again Bobby is going crazy with the slide. This one is done a little slower and its pretty good, but Bobby just kills it with the slide play. Big Railroad comes up next and is super quick and not too bad. I enjoyed hearing it and crowd surely loved it. The MAMU>Big River combo that follows is pretty forgettable. Forced, too fast and all over the freakin place. Tennessee follows, and thank god they are slowing down this frantic, speedball pace. If it’s possible to say – I think Tennessee is the high point of this first set so far. I will go on record as saying I have never ever said that about any show, ever. With that being said, I had no idea what I was in for with the LIG that follows. Jeezus man, what in the world is happening during the first two minutes of this one. I really cant even tell. Its like they fade into it superhero fast and the first verses miss so bad, and then they just keep forging ahead at a blistering pace until it works. Jerry slowly starts coming to the front and at about the 230 mark he is literally shot out of a cannon. Are you freaking kidding me? This one is absolutely frantic – and starting to sound better I might add. Phil is absolutely banging away and this one is completely off the charts. If I saw this live and I was dosed, I would have most likely had a heart attack – or at the very least heart palpitations. This one is so fucking fast and remarkably tight at the same time. WOW!! Its like this one almost caved in on itself at the beginning and that closeness ended up exploding into a million spinning notes all over the crowd.. This is a goddam hurricane of epic proportions. Holy smokes man, WTF was that about?? Where in the hell did that come from? Astounding how fast this is and how well it works. That is by far one of the trippiest LIG’s I have ever heard. Hat’s off to this unreal piece of work. Again, completely unlike any other LIG this reviewer has ever heard.
Thoughts on the first set – Terrible with the exception the ungodly out of body experience known as Let it Grow. Forced, rushed and sloppily played for the most part. I will say Phil seems to be on this evening. Several times so far I have heard him standing out hitting many notes in the upper register, and he seems to having a great show.
The second set start out with a pretty snappy Help>Slip>Franklin’s. The Slip part is pretty damn quick but overall done well with a little different feel to it. I cant really knock this as I did read after writing my review that this was a bust out after a 5 or 6(?) year hiatus. It definitely did not seem as rushed as any part of the first set. I will say Jerry’s vocals do sound awful this evening. All night he has sounded like his adam’s apple is stuck near the top of his throat. Playin’>Drums>Space>Throwin’>NFA>Black Peter>Sugar Mags is next, and for the most part is not very good. Rather than walk everyone through exactly what I did not like, I will talk about what I did dig in this Jam. Playin, after they drop in has some very interesting elements going on, and again has a really different feel to it. I also enjoyed Throwin’ out of space. Was not rushed and they did a great job with it imo. Sugar Mags finished things off with a bang and after a little banter from Bobby, they go right into Don’t Ease which was also done pretty well. For the most part the transitions were not good at all and the playing was sloppy and too goddam hyper for my taste.
Thoughts on this show as a whole – Not so good. I would not say its as bad as 5/8/84, but its still pretty bad. The LIG however, has so much going for it that I will say this show falls in the “moments of brilliance” category. Even with that beautiful monstrosity, this show is still utterly forgettable. Harsh perhaps, but they just plain sounded off. I don’t fault them for it as it was their first show of the year really, but perhaps they shoulda rehearsed at least one or two more times before taking the stage. Ehh, such is life. They all can’t be winners. I am giving this show a marginal recommendation solely on the strength of LIG, and I give this effort a C- to D+.
Subject: Great Audience recording........down and occasionally up show
Subject: Tempe 83
Subject: Excellent Audience Recording
Subject: My Brother Esau
Subject: Best AUD I ever heard
Subject: Do yourself a favor and listen to this Let it Grow
Subject: Weather Report
Subject: My first Dead show!
I remember everyone freaking out when they started the Help on the way-first in a long time!!
Subject: Help/ Slip / Frank
Subject: Good AUD filler!
Uploaded by Jonathan Aizen on